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Baltic Dry Index Soars to 18-Month High Amid Global Shipping Upheavals

6 Dec 2023 10:25 pm
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Mumbai, 06 Dec 2023 (Commoditiescontrol):The Baltic Dry Index (BDI), a key barometer for international shipping rates of bulk commodities, has witnessed a significant surge, reaching its highest peak in 18 months. As of December 4, the BDI soared to 3,346 points, marking a substantial increase of approximately 1,500 points within just eight sessions. This peak represents the highest level since May 2022, before a slight moderation brought it to 3,143 points on December 5.

Compiled by the Baltic Exchange in London, the BDI offers a comprehensive gauge of the cost of transporting crucial raw materials across oceans. This comprehensive index encompasses various segments of maritime vessels, including capesize, panamax, and supramax ships. Its movements are closely watched as a precursor to global economic trends.

In the realm of grain transportation, panamax and supramax vessels play pivotal roles. According to a recent report by Clarkson Securities, panamax spot rates have escalated by 53% over the past month, reaching US$21,000 per day as of December 4. Concurrently, supramax rates have risen by 31% in the same period, attaining US$16,400.

Several factors contribute to this uptrend in freight rates. Notably, logistical constraints in navigating the Panama Canal and congestion at Brazilian ports have exerted upward pressure on rates. Additionally, adverse winter weather conditions are causing unloading delays in Europe and China. Meanwhile, recent maritime security incidents in the Red Sea have sparked concerns over the safety of passage through the Suez Canal.

In contrast to the soaring bulk shipping rates, container shipping rates exhibit relative stability. Drewry’s World Container Index (WCI), a tracker of container freight rates, stood at US$1,382 per 40-foot container as of November 30, 2023. This rate remains unchanged from the preceding week and represents a 40% decline from the same period last year, illustrating a divergent trend in the shipping industry.

(By Commoditiescontrol Bureau; +91-9820130172)

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